2.29.2016

Monday, February 29, 2016

Increase in NPA surrenders noted in first quarter of 2016 in SurSur: Army

By Nida Grace B. Tranquilan

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Feb. 29, 2016 (PIA)- The military here noted the increase in the number of communist rebels surrendered to the folds of the law for the first quarter of this year, just a month before the 47th New People’s Army (NPA) anniversary.

In a press statement released by the civil military operations (CMO) battalion, 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, a total of 26 communist New People's Army (NPA) rebels have surrendered for the first quarter of 2016 belonging to the various NPA guerilla fronts of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) operating in Surigao del Sur.

Accordingly, the successful entry of the basic services in 2015 through the Bayanihan Team Activities (BTA) in partnership with the local government units (LGUs) in this province prompted the total of 61 NPAs with firearms who surrendered in 2015, while the number of the NPA initiated violent activities has dramatically decreased.

The military reported that during this first quarter alone, the NPA surrenderees reached almost half the number of the NPAs who surrendered from last year. The surrendered NPAs for this year are now on the process to avail the benefits intended for former rebels to be awarded next month.

Meanwhile, 402nd brigade commanding officer Col. Isidro Purisima encouraged the remaining NPAs to surrender and avail the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) of the government. “I encourage the remaining NPAs to surrender and return to the mainstream society. Let us help this province attain a just and lasting peace to make way for its further development. We are very much willing to facilitate their surrender,” Col. Purisima said. (NGBT/with a report from CMO Battalion,PA/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


600 kids join simultaneous toothbrushing in Surigao City

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Feb, 29 (PIA) – Some 600 kindergarten and grade 1 pupils of Mariano Espina Memorial Central Elementary School (MEMCES), and day care children of Barangay Taft Day Care Centers joined the simultaneous toothbrushing activity and received free toothbrush and toothpaste held recently at the MEMCES School Campus, this city.

The activity is in line with the observance of the 12th National Children’s Dental Health Month, the whole month of February, which aims to raise awareness about the importance of oral health

Philippine Dental Health Association (PDA) Mindanao vice president Dr. Liza A. Lerio said the activity is one of the outreach programs of their association and other dental health stakeholders intended to eliminate dental health problems among children.

The one-day activity was conducted by the Philippine Dental Association (PDA) Surigao del Norte Chapter in partnership with Department of Education (DepEd) Surigao City Division and Barangay Taft Dental Health Services. (SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


PhilCCAP sets product launching on March

By Herzon F. Gallego

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 29 (PIA) - A team of personnel from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga Region and the Philippines Climate Change Adaptation Project (PhiCCAP) will be sent by DENR Caraga regional director Nonito M. Tamayo to Manila to attend the product launching event of the PhilCCAP on Tuesday, March 1.

According to the DENR Caraga officials, the project which is engaged in developing and demonstrating approaches that would enable the targeted communities to adapt to the impacts of the climate change is now ready to showcase the products at this stage of project implementation.

The products set to be launched by the PhilCAPP include the Enhanced Climate-Smart Farmers “Field School Manual,” the Weather Index-Based Crop Insurance (for drought and excessive rainfall indices), the Enhanced Operations Manual of the National Irrigation Administration (climate-proofing irrigations systems and other agricultural facilities), the compendium of good practices initially identified, and the climate-proofed and updated management plans for two protected areas in Region 2 and Caraga.

The exhibit will also showcase several computer-based systems designed by the project which include the climate-smart decision support system for rice and corn farmers developed by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the online climate knowledge management system created by the Climate Change Commission (CCC), and the climate simulations produced by PAGASA.

The team is headed by director Tamayo and his assistant regional director for Technical Services Roberto A. Oliveros, chief of the Conservation and Development Division Nilda G. Ebron, chief of the Protected Areas and Bio-diversity Conservation Section Josephine L. Araojo, chief of the Accounting Unit- Finance Division Elsalyn J. Evangelio, and chief of the Regional Public Affairs Office Herzon F. Gallego.

Also going with the team are the Protected Area Superintendent Unit of the Siargao Islands Protected Landscapes and Seascapes Celsa G. Espadero and the PhilCCAP Coordinator Milafe S. Nohara and a representative from the PENRO of Surigao del Norte.  (DENR-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Mindanao lead agency inks development initiatives with ADB, USAID

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Feb. 29 (PIA) – Agreements that will spur development in Mindanao, particularly in the South Central Mindanao Corridor (SCMC) were signed by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), capitalizing on the island-region’s geographic and socioeconomic advantages.

During formal ceremony held here recently at the Greenleaf Hotel, MinDA Chairperson Secretary Luwalhati Antonino and USAID-Philippines Chief of the Office of Economic Development and Governance Daniel Miller led the signing of an agreement aimed to push the SCMC as a primary food basket, agribusiness and logistics hub, as well as a biodiversity and ecotourism focus area.

Another agreement was signed by Secretary Antonino and ADB Country Director Richard Bolt on the implementation of programs that will address specific issues in public and private investments in the SCMC, particularly in the Bangsamoro areas.

“These projects will cement South Central Mindanao’s position as the country’s foremost agribusiness and logistics hub,” said Antonino.

She added that the partnerships highlight the shared commitment to develop Mindanao and to improve the quality of life of all Mindanawons.

The SCMC is composed of the Davao Region, the South Cotabato, Cotabato City Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani (SOCCKSARGEN) Region and the mainland Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).  It is one of the three development corridors in the Mindanao Development Corridors Program, aimed to position the island-region as a single, integrated economy that is able to leverage and actively participate in the ASEAN and the rest of the world.

USAID’s agreement with MinDA will specifically facilitate for the development of a framework and conceptual plan for the establishment of an Aerotropolis in General Santos City, a multimillion Peso project that will integrate the different points of entry in the SCMC.

The Aerotropolis plans to develop some 200 hectares of property surrounding the General Santos airport to an integrated complex that will include business parks, amusement parks, hotels, integrated food terminal, food processing and manufacturing activities, and shopping malls.

Other projects identified in the USAID agreement are the creation of strategies for the network of ports, including the identification of functional roads that will support the SCMC. The agreement also seeks to draft the strategy for the development of the Ecotourism and Biodiversity Cluster that will extend from Surigao del Norte (including Cagayan de Oro and Camiguin) to Davao Oriental in Mindanao’s Eastern seaboard.

“Our commitment to help strengthen the Mindanao Development Corridors is built upon partnerships forged many years ago to promote economic growth in Mindanao,” said Miller.

He added that this current cooperation will directly support the spatial strategy of the Mindanao peace and development framework and will significantly contribute to achieving the Mindanao 2020 vision.”

The Mindanao 202O is a 20-year peace and development roadmap for Mindanao, which envisions to addresses the various challenges and opportunities of the island-region not only within the context of securing peace amid a history of conflict but also in terms of harnessing its inherently rich socioeconomic potentials primarily for the benefit of Mindanawons.

The agreement with ADB on the other hand will facilitate for the conduct of a study that will prepare the Bangsamoro areas in their anticipated participation in the SCMC. Active involvement of the private sector during the conduct of the study will be encouraged while key interventions that will allow for the utilization of the corridor’s inherent potentials will be identified.

Priority pipeline projects that will include Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in South Central Mindanao and the Bangsamoro areas will also be identified in the study, including capacity-building initiatives among key staff to enhance capabilities in project preparation.

“ADB is Mindanao’s long-term partner and we also consider the island-region as our home,” said Bolt while adding, “among the first projects of ADB in the Philippines were implemented in Mindanao which included road, hydropower, and ports development projects as well as initiatives in strengthening agri-based industries through irrigation construction.”

The ADB assistance is also expected to enhance planning and the establishment of program monitoring and evaluation system for the Mindanao Development Corridors, while strengthening the links between MinDA and the Bangsamoro Development Authority. (MinDA/PIA-Caraga)


OWWA joins in 'Aplayan sa Minahan 2016' 

By Jean Pearl I. Millones

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 29 (PIA) - The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), in its constant effort to strengthen ties with local government units, joined in the Jobs Fair: Aplayan sa Minahan 2016 on February 24 at the Multi-purpose Convention Hall in the Municipality of Claver, Surigao del Norte.

The activity aimed to bring employment to the locals of Claver and its neighboring municipalities, especially in the field of mining, the main source of employment in the locality. Overseas jobs for both skilled and service workers were also available during the fair.

Recruitment representatives from five local mining companies and six from overseas recruitment agencies joined in the day’s jobs fair with 115 job openings.

OWWA Caraga regional director, Samuel S. Madrid, took the gathering of workers to introduce the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Assist WELL program to the participants especially to those who aspire to work abroad.

The Assist WELL (Welfare, Employment, Livelihood and Legal) is a program of the Department of Labor and Employment along with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), among others, that aims to ensure a synchronized and systematic delivery of assistance to returning and/or repatriated OFWs with the four services.

Officers from the different government offices also supported the event. Felibeth C. Bonono of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Surigao del Norte, Meriam Balmocena, Regional Coordinator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) and Emilio C. Pantejo, Provincial PESO Manager for Surigao del Norte joined in the activity.

Balmocena gave a brief pre-employment orientation to aspiring OFWs, emphasizing on gaining appropriate knowledge and information of the application process to ensure a safe and secure job placement.

Meanwhile, Junrey Escobal, the municipal PESO of Claver, encouraged the constituents of Claver and all the participants of the fair to avail of the skills upgrading trainings for their career advancement and to eventually be more job-ready for employment opportunities here and abroad.

A total of 478 applicants came to job-hunt where six have been hired on the spot. (OWWA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


SurSur Health Office conducts OPV catch-up immunization drive

By Greg Tataro, Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Feb. 29 (PIA) – As part of the national immunization drive, the Provincial Health Office here has conducted Measles-Rubella and Oral Polio Vaccine (MR OPV) catch-up activity province-wide on February 23-24, 2016.

Prior to this, Dr. Jose Llacuna, Jr., Department of Health (DOH) Caraga regional director, already informed Governor Johnny Pimentel about the activity and, at the same time, called the attention of Dr. Eric Montesclaros, provincial health officer here, through a letter dated February 15, 2016.

“The Philippines is committed to the Polio Endgame Strategic Plan, a global effort to secure a polio-free world,” the DOH regional chief said, citing several activities “to bolster its efforts.”

Moreover, Dr. Llacuna pointed out the “PURPOSE OF THE CATCH UP VACCINATION” and other important factors plus additional information as well.

“All children aged under-five years regardless of polio immunization status shall receive a 1 dose of trivalent Oral Polio Vaccine (IOPV) from February 22-26, 2016,” he stressed.

In response, Dr. Montesclaros made sure to issue travel order directing concerned PHO staff  “to conduct MR OPV catch-up activity” in their designated areas of assignment. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


DA supports women empowerment in agri sector

By Aurelius P. Arais

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 29 (PIA) - At all times, women should be protected!

A marching call of the United Nations to all nations around the globe in every circumstances and situations.

Heeding to the call, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga hosted the orientation workshop of National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security (NAP-WPS) held in one of the convention center in Butuan City last February 17-18, 2016.

The activity was participated by Gender and Development (GAD) and PAMANA focal persons from different regions in the country. According to Director Helen Rojas of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), the Philippines is still currently considered a conflict area considering the number of rebel groups operating in the country though the government is pursuing for a peace process.

However, she emphasized that in conflict and post conflict situations, women should be protected, empowered, and should play a decisive role in peace and security mechanisms.

“The National Action Plan in Women, Peace and Security (NAP-WPS) was formulated in support to the implementation of gender equality as well as peace and development,” Rojas said.

NAP-WPS is the articulation of the Philippine’s commitment to international resolutions and national mandates on women, peace and security and in adherence to provisions of Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta for Women and the 2010-2016 Philippine Development Plan. It aims to accelerate gender mainstreaming on conflict-affected areas.

DA on its part will support the integration of the NAP-WPS in government programs through the GAD and PAMANA program implementations. DA Regional Director Edna Mabeza lauded OPAPP for spearheading the peace building initiatives and expressed her support by extending interventions to conflict-affected areas benefitting women.

To capacitate the participants, Planning Officer III Rebecca Baylosis of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) discussed the mechanisms on how to integrate NAP-WPS to GAD Plan and Budget.

Meanwhile, Supervising Agriculturist Lorna Villegas of DA Central Office Field Operation Services spearheaded the workshop crafting the DA NAP-WPS guidelines.

At the national level, NAP-WPS is implemented under the National Steering Committee created through Executive Order No. 865.

In 2013, agencies implementing the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) Program, a complementary program for the peace process were also engaged to implement NAP-WPS.

Consistent with Proclamation No. 227 s. 1988, the annual National Women’s Month Celebration every March aims to give due recognition to the contributions of Filipino women in our society.

This year’s theme is "Kapakanan ni Juana, Isama sa Agenda!" (DA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)