AgSur guv to deliver SOPA on June 17
By Jennifer P. Gaitano
PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, June 14 (PIA) – In time with the culmination of the 49th Founding Anniversary of the province on June 17, 2016, Governor Adolph Edward “Eddiebong” Plaza will also deliver his State of the Province Address (SOPA) – State of the Local Governance Report at the Naliyagan Cultural Center here.
Said event on Friday is divided into two parts. The first part will be a short program for the culmination of the Naliyagan Festival while the second part is the SOPA and awarding of municipal interactive booth winners, as well as recognition of outstanding achievement and performance award.
Provincial vice governor Santiago Cane Jr will deliver his welcome message during the program while superintendent Minerva Albis of the Department of Education (DepEd) Agusan del Sur will share the brief history and facts about the province.
First District Representative Maria Valentina Plaza and Second District Representative Evelyn Mellana are also expected to deliver their inspirational messages. Gov. Eddiebong Plaza will then give his message and declaration of Foundation Day and Countdown of Golden (50th) Foundation Day Anniversary and Silver (25th) Naliyagan Festival celebration.
It can be recalled that by virtue of Act No. 1693, Agusan was made into province on August 20, 1907 where Malaybalay was part of this new province. Agusan derived its name from the local dialect “agasan” which means “where the water flows.”
The Province of Agusan del Sur was created by virtue of Republic Act No. 4979 which provides for the division of the Province of Agusan into Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur. It was enacted and signed into law by former President Ferdinand E. Marcos on June 17, 1967. (JPG/PIA-Agusan del Sur)
Meat-cutting plant to rise in Butuan
By Anna Gail Carreon
BUTUAN CITY, June 14 (PIA) – Officials and representatives from Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development – Philippine Cold Chain Project/United States Department of Agriculture, Happy Enterprises & Resources, Inc., and Pilmico Animal Nutrition Corporation led recently the groundbreaking ceremony of the new meat-cutting facility in the city.
The facility will not only provide fresh, quality and safe meat to Butuanons and nearby provinces, but it also gives local backyard farmers assured profit through the business model developed by Winrock and Pilmico. Local Caraga farmers are provided the right genetics and Pilmico feeds essential to producing quality pork.
Pilmico and its project partners are looking forward to the plant's completion, largely because of the impact it will have on the Caraga region's economy and its local farmers.
As true partners for growth, Caraganons are not only assured that the meat they will buy is clean and fresh but more importantly, it benefits the little guys at the very start of the food chain – the backyard farmers.
In a statement released from Pilmico, this kind of project has never been done before and with the plant's expected success, it can be a business model that can be replicated in other parts of the country.
Plans for the official launch of the meat-cutting plant is scheduled in October, it was learned. (FEA/Pilmico/PIA-Caraga)
Army holds bloodletting drive in Surigao Norte
By Lt. Ryan D. Layug
SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, June 14 (PIA) – Twenty three (23) units of blood were extracted from the army volunteers in the recent mobile blood donation activity in line with the 118th Independence Day celebration spearheaded by the 30th Infantry Battalion (30IB) in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) under its Mobile Blood Donation program.
With the theme, “Dugo para sa Kababayan, Alay ng Kasundaluhan sa Araw ng Kalayaan,” the bloodletting activity was held on June 9 at the 30IB headquarters in Sta. Cruz, Placer, this province.
According to 30IB commanding officer LTC Rico Amaro, the said activity is the soldier’s way to share part of their life to their fellowmen.
Col. Amaro who is a regular blood donor led the list of donors including his wife, son and daughter who is on vacation from Baguio City.
“This is teaching our children the essence of humanitarian service on a voluntary basis. Teaching them to understand our life as public servants,” Amaro added.
During the said activity, PRC administrator Marilou Talingting explained that any person 16 years old and above, at least 50 kilograms, physically healthy as determined by doctor on duty can donate blood, and a person can donate blood every three months.
Talingting then thanked the 30IB for its support to the program. “Our vibrant relationship is encouraging, just last February our soldiers from 30IB also donated blood. Thank you very sir for your support,” said Talingting. (FEA/CMO-30IB, Philippine Army/PIA-Surigao del Norte)
Surigao Norte hosts PLS national assembly
By John Glenn Platil
SURIGAO CITY, Surigao City, June 14, 2016 (PIA) - The members and officers of the Philippine League of Secretaries (PLS) to the Sanggunian convened on June 1-4 for the national assembly which was held in the city.
Regional president and national assembly director Rosendo Campos spearheaded the historic and meaningful convergence which aims to strengthen the linkage among Sanggunian secretaries all around the country.
Top policy-makers from the Surigao del Norte’s Sanggunian also graced the event under the supervision, control and management of Rudolph Valentino Sering.
In her keynote message through Provincial Administrator Atty. Premolito Plaza, Governor Sol Matugas explained the official duties and responsibilities of the Sanggunian secretary in every municipal, city and provincial LGU, pursuant to the local government code of the Philippines.
“By providing the stakeholders and manpower complement with vast opportunity to learn and share the best practices and innovative strategies, we see to it that all roads lead to success in the conduct of decision-making and legislative work,” Matugas said.
She said that ordinances and resolutions are the anchor and foundation of good governance because the people are guided to become law-abiding constituents in a province which endeavors to institute sweeping, instant and concrete reforms.
“We recognize the go-signal and mandate of our new President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to stamp out bureaucratic red tape and end any delay in official business. Duterte who is a true son of Mindanao wants to adopt policies which reflect his vision for real change and absolute transformation starting with character building and value formation," said Matugas. (PGO-SDN/PIA-Surigao del Norte)
Sec. Singson’s last policy instruction: Budget ‘limit’ on projects to cut underspending
BUTUAN CITY, June 14 (PIA) - Secretary Rogelio L. Singson of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has this last policy instruction to recommend to management which is to impose ‘limit’ on annual funding for each project implemented by the Department to address underspending of budget. This was disclosed by the secretary during his recent visit to Caraga Region, his last before he bows out of the department come June 30, 2016.
The outgoing secretary has been recently doing his rounds nationwide, visiting each region to assess current status of infrastructure program to ensure a smooth transition of governance to department’s newly- appointed Secretary Mark Villar.
“I am ready for turn-over anytime now, but I’m just doing my rounds to make sure the next administration will not encounter major problems following my lead,” he said.
On June 9, he had a stopover at the DPWH-Caraga Regional Office here, where he held a two-hour meeting with the agency executives and officials to hear their concerns on project implementation as well as share insights on policy directions and program thrusts of the incoming new administration, which may affect the bureaucracy of the department.
Sec. Singson disclosed that “despite the department is given huge amount of budget, a notable percentage of it were not used for projects neither for services, which is the prevailing issue at this point – underspending of funds.”
Underspending pertains to percentage of funds allotted to the department for its expenditure that were unable to utilize within the given period.
According to him, the DPWH Central Office has recognized budget programming as the bottleneck of series of complications that eventually “results to underspending.”
“The management committee is meeting regularly nowadays with incoming Sec. Villar, and we have studied closely the necessary approaches to undertake to address this issue, of which one is to limit annual funding of projects with multi-million worth, such as bridges, to be based on capacity of contractors to accomplish certain percentage of projects,” he said.
He said this policy entails contractors to enter into multi-year obligational authority.
“By that, it means the single contractor will assume implementation until the project is completed, but the annual funding will be based on how much they can accomplish for the current year the project is being implemented,” he added.
Another factor he identified that hinders the utilization of budget is the delay on accomplishment due to road right-of-way, inaccessible project locations, and protracted processing of documents.
"These problems could’ve been mitigated, if not avoided, when they are worked out initially prior to the beginning of implementation of project itself,” he said.
At this point, Sec. Singson recommended that by the following year, only projects that are ‘workable’ should be implemented, while the rest of the budget is utilized in the preparation of those that have anticipated difficulties.
Sec. Singson clarified that while imposition of the said ‘limits’ does not entail low budget for the succeeding years – but only for a time being until workable conditions are met for projects to push through – thus fund utilization is efficient in this approach. (DPWH-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)