Thursday, July 21, 2016


NAST PHL to hold writing proposals, researches workshop in Butuan

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, July 21 (PIA) – The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) will be conducting the Training Workshop on Writing and Presenting Proposals Towards Building a Science Culture in Caraga region on July 28-29, 2016 and Seminar-Workshop on Enhancing the Research/Thesis Writing Capabilities of Special Science School Teachers on July 29 at Balanghai Hotel, this city.

According to NAST PHL director Luningning Samarita-Domingo, they have initiated the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) funded project entitled “Evaluation and Improvement of the Research Publication and IP Productivity of the National R & D Systems.”

“One of the objectives of the project is to improve the productivity and the international visibility of the country’s science and technology community. Under this, NAST has been conducting capability building activities that will enable researchers to implement research projects and produce scientific paper that can be published in international referred journals,” underlined Domingo.

NAST PHL is guided with the following mandates: To recognize outstanding achievements in Science and Technology as well as provide meaningful incentives to those engaged in Scientific and Technological Researches (Presidential Decree 1003-A); to advise the President and the Cabinet on matters related to Science and Technology (Executive Order No. 818); to engage in projects and programs designed to recognize outstanding achievements in science and to promote scientific productivity (Executive Order No. 818); to embark on programs traditionally and internationally expected of an academy of science (Executive Order No. 818); and to manage, operate and maintain the Philippine Science Heritage Center (Republic Act 9107). (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


FSUU-ULAP to conduct West PH Sea arbitration victory forum

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, July 21 (PIA) – The Urian Legal Assistance Program (ULAP) established by the College of Law of the Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU) is set to hold a talk on the Victory of the West Philippine Sea (WPS) Arbitration on July 26, 2016 (Tuesday) at 4:00 p.m. at the Function Hall of the new FSUU-CBE Bldg., here.

Consul General Henry S. Bersunto, Jr., one of the members of the Philippine team that filed the arbitration case against China on the WPS dispute at the Arbitral Tribunal in the Hague, will be the guest speaker on the said event.

“ULAP sees the Philippine victory as a model of conflict transformation. We believe that this activity will help us build capacities on how to approach conflict in a transformative way. We hope to see you and share with us the nation’s victory,” said Atty. Josefe Sorrera-Ty, Dean FSUU-College of Law.

It can be recalled that more than 200 students and campus youth leaders from different colleges and universities had also attended the Campus Forum on WPS issue on January of this year at the FSUU with an aim to raise awareness among the youth regarding the WPS issues and concerns and elicit the desired attitude toward and support for the Philippine position and initiatives in resolving the dispute.

This time, the Philippines won the arbitration case versus China over South China Sea. It has finally been decided that the Philippines has exclusive sovereign rights over the WPS and that China’s “nine-dash line” is invalid, according to the United Nations (UN) Arbitral Tribunal. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


Volunteer youth leaders for health launches 1st social media day for folic acid awareness 

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, July 21 (PIA) - In observance of this year’s Nutrition Month and National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week, the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health in the Philippines (VYLHP) launched on Monday the first National Social Media Day for Folic Acid Awareness.

Its main objective is to increase public awareness on folic acid and its important role in the prevention of neural tube defects through a social media campaign. Neural tube defects are problems in the development of the baby's brain and spine which can lead to death and disability.

Accordingly, everyone needs folic acid. Folic acid is a B vitamin, specifically Vitamin B9. Human bodies use it to make new cells. Folic acid is also very important because it can help prevent some major birth defects of the baby's brain and spine, also known as neural tube defects. Neural tube defects (NTDs) may result to infant death, dysmorphology (deformity) or disability. In some kinds of NTDs, corrective surgical procedures are needed in order to improve the quality of life of patients.

Studies have shown that the intake of folic acid or vitamin B9 through supplementation and food fortification can significantly reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs). In case of supplementation, proper dosage and intake schedule can lessen the risk of NTDs by up to 70 percent.

Moreover, VYLH campaigned for a daily intake of 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid since folic acid is a water soluble vitamin. It can prevent the occurrence of neural tube defects by up to 70 percent and the regular consumption will ensure that its amount in the body will be replenished. On the other hand, for folic acid to help in preventing NTDs, a woman needs to start taking the vitamin at least one month before she becomes pregnant and while she is pregnant. Every woman in the reproductive age needs folic acid every day, whether she’s planning to get pregnant or not.

In the Philippines, awareness on the significance of folic acid supplementation among Filipino women in reproductive age is presumed to be low. Furthermore, folate deficiency has been determined to exist. According to the 7th National Nutrition Survey by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute-DOST, 1 in every 5 ‘pinays’ of childbearing age is folate deficient. Hence, there is a need for increasing public awareness on this matter.

VYLH-Philippines is a network of pro-active, service-oriented, empowering and visionary leaders equipped with knowledge and skills in mobilizing the youth for health. It is composed of youth leaders from different community- and university-based youth organizations throughout the Philippines.

It was on the night of July 18, 2009 when 78 volunteer youth leaders representing 43 youth organizations accepted the challenge of promoting folic acid awareness as one of the health advocacies of the network. (VYLH/VLG/PIA-Caraga)


NYC expresses high hopes for a genuine change in SK organization

BUTUAN CITY, July 21 (PIA) – As the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) is getting ready for this year’s Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, the National Youth Commission (NYC) expressed high hopes and confidence that the elctions will also bring genuine change in the SK organization and makes a sustainable impact on the style of strong leadership and good governance geared towards a better and more responsive Sangguniang Kabataan for a vibrant and sustainable community. 

Asec. Earl Saavedra, the concurrent NYC OIC chairperson said that the youth are the hope of the nation. It is then right and appropriate to equip them with knowledge, skills, and trainings that enhance their learning capabilities especially in their involvment in the political arena.

Saavedra also relayed that “with the signing of the SK Reform Act Impleenting Rules and Regulations (IRR), the country has gained more confidence in pushing for the plans and strategic partnerships in encouraging the youth to get involved in the new and reformed Sangguniang Kabataan.”

He added that with the remaining 116 days before the 2016 SK and Barangay Elections, all concerned youths between the ages of 15 to 17 who have not yet cast their registration are highly encourage to exercise their constitutionally mandated rights to suffrage and personally file their applications in their respective areas on those dates specified beginning July 15 to July 30, 2016 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

The SK Reform Law will take off its full implementation after fifteen (15) days of publication of the IRR of the SK Reform Act in the Official Gazette of the Philippines in time for the preparation for the SK Registration and Election this October 2016. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


DSWD turns over P5M PAMANA livelihood projects in SurSur town

By Nida Grace Barcena-Tranquilan

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, July 21 (PIA) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga turned-over recently a livelihood project worth P5 million thru the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) under PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA) scheme in Hinatuan town.

In a press statement released by the DSWD field office, seven associations from the different barangays in Hinatuan received P300,000 from the PAMANA Project.

It was learned that 40 traysikad/pedicabs, four tractors and one corn mill were procured and a water refilling station was put up from the said fund.

Accordingly, 40 members of Pantawid Pamilya Hinatuan SLP Association availed the “traysikad” or pedicab as their source of livelihood. These members have also underwent a training on welding pedicab fabrication. For the sustainability of the project, the members decided to contribute a monthly due worth P40.00 each for the maintenance needed for their pedicabs.

Four associations coming from Barangay Tiwi, Roxas, Bitoon, and Sasa also received one tractor each. They also agreed to contribute a monthly due worth P10 each for the maintenance and repair of their tractors.

Also, the Talisay Fisherfolks Association composed of more than 100 members received the newly-built corn mill. The facility is open to non-members in order to generate more income. A monthly due amounting to P5.00 each was agreed by the members for the sustainability of the equipment.

While the Del Carmen Farmers Association of Barangay Dugmanon composed of 60 members availed the Water Refilling Station.

The PAMANA is a national government’s convergence program that extends development interventions to isolated, hard-to-reach and conflict-affected communities, ensuring that they are not left behind. (NGBT/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Surigao Norte town strengthens support to Army’s peace, development outreach program

By 1Lt. Ryan D. Layug

BUTUAN CITY, July 22 (PIA) – The municipality of Malimono in Surigao del Norte through its Municipal Peace and Order Council (MPOC) has intensified the implementation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP’s) Peace and Development Outreach Program (PDOP) to end conflicts and pursue peace, order and security in its locality.

It can be recalled that residents from Brgy. Tinago had evacuated to Malimono Municipal Gymnasium upon order by the NPA commander who also threatened them to suffer from the planned attack if they will refuse. However, the circulated reports deceptively appeared to be that residents were afraid of soldiers and that they wanted the military men to withdraw their presence in the barangay.

To verify the veracity of the situation, 1Lt Ryan Layug, Civil Military Operations (CMO) officer of 30IB led a Quick Reaction Team to engage the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) on July 12-13, 2016. "When I asked Tinago residents if it is true that they wanted the soldiers out of their barangay, majority vehemently denied the allegations," Layug said.

Meanwhile, reports were tipped to the soldiers, policemen and local government unit (LGU) that a rally was being organized secretly on July 13 to support the demanded pull-out of soldiers in Malimono by the IDPs. Media outlets were invited by Naghiusang Mag-uuma sa Surigao del Norte (NAMASUN) to cover the rally that was simultaneously conducted with the scheduled MPOC meeting.

"Some barangay chairpersons are now being manipulated by the NPAs. I will commit one company of soldiers here in Malimono to remove your fear and maintain security,” addressed Lt Col Rico Amaro, 30IB commander before the members of the MPOC.

"It's time to put an end to the presence of NPAs in Malimono. This is a 5th class municipality, we will not move forward with their presence because we don't want to be referred as red flagged municipality. Investors already denied us and we must not allow for the next generations of our kin to face difficulty in finding a job just because they came from an NPA-influenced town. We will implement and support PDOP," Mayor Wallace Sinaca said after soliciting the views of barangay chairpersons and the MPOC.

According to reports from concerned residents, the NPA is desperate to maintain its hold in Malimono because of the small-scale illegal mining where they usually got a share. Also, the farmers, fisherfolks, store owners, jeepney operators, government employees and other businesses in Malimono are  being collected with revolutionary tax. (VLG/30IB Philippine Army/PIA-Caraga)


DTI-Surigao Norte to conduct business matching activity during MinBizCon

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, July 21 (PIA) – The provincial office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will conduct a business matching activity during the 25th Mindanao Business Conference (MinBizCon) on August 24-26, 2016 to be held at Gateway Hotel, this city.

DTI Surigao del Norte provincial director Celestino L. Negapatan said the business matching being one of the activities of the conference is intended to give opportunities to participants having business projects needing investors, equipment, technologies and marketing linkages to meet and discuss potential partners, suppliers, distributors or service providers.

He encouraged existing and potential entrepreneurs to join the conference and explore possible business matching opportunities.

Negapatan further said that the local government units can promote their priority economic development projects needing private sector investment as well as their tourist attractions by distributing promotional materials that will provide vital information about their locality.

Meanwhile, Surigao Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) president Concepcion R. Paqueo said businessmen, officers and members of Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) coming from various areas in Mindanao will be joining the conference having various business interests.

The DTI Caraga Regional Office was tapped by the MinBizCon organizers to facilitate the business matching activity.

For more details and clarification on the said conference and the business matching activity, just visit the DTI provincial office located at the 2nd Floor, Simtoco Business Center, Burgos Street or contact at telephone number (086) 826-2373 and the SCCI at telephone number (086) 826-7716. (SDR/DTI-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


31 OFWs undergo financial literacy, entrep dev’t training

By Jean Mary Ronquillo

BUTUAN CITY, July 21 (PIA) – On top of a potential availment for livelihood assistance, some 31 displaced and distressed OFWs in the region recently underwent an Entrepreneurship Development Training and Financial Literacy seminar under the Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay (BPBH) Program scheme of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

 The BPBH Livelihood Assistance Program of OWWA is part of the agency’s reintegration services that aims to provide immediate relief through granting livelihood starter kits amounting to P10, 000.00 to displaced and distressed OFWs who were not able to finish their employment contract overseas due to economic crisis or hostilities in the host countries and some other distressful situations.

Overseas Workers Welfare Officer II Jean Mary Ronquillo facilitated the conduct of the training including the orientation of the livelihood grant availment which primarily hopes to inculcate entrepreneurial mindset among OFW participants and equip them with skills which can be useful in starting their livelihood venture.

Also encompassing the training program included the crafting of business plan which will serve as the beneficiaries’ guide during the implementation of their chosen livelihood endeavor.

One of the participants, OFW Lailani Gonzaga, showed enthusiasm to avail of the livelihood program that will somehow yield additional income to their household. As a mother of six chidren and being the lone provider in the family, Gonzaga sees the program as an opportunity to establish a new beginning following her unsuccessful employment abroad.

For the first semester of 2016, OWWA Caraga has already granted a sum of P1,190,000.00 for livelihood starter kits benefiting 119 OFWs under the BPBH Livelihood Assistance Program. Most of these recipients ventured into trading and agricultural related projects.

In order to avail of the program, a returning OFW must present a proof of repatriation such as photocopy of passport, cancelled visa, referral from Philippine Embassy (if available), termination from employer (if job related), medical certificate (if sickness related), and trip ticket from country jobsite to Philippines. Availment of the program must be within one (1) year upon return to the country.

For further information and/or queries regarding the program, kindly visit OWWA Regional Welfare Office Caraga located at Nimfa Tiu Bldg.2, J. Rosales Ave., Butuan City or contact us at (085) 342-6178/815-1894. (OWWA-13/PIA-Caraga)


DA Caraga recognizes GPP partner schools

BUTUAN CITY, July 21 (PIA) - To recognize the schools that exerted extra effort in implementing the Gulayan sa Paaralan Program (GPP) and pursue its advocacy, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga conducted the 2015 GPP Best Schools Implementers Awarding Ceremony last July 13 in the city.

GPP is a school vegetable gardening project that aims to address hunger and malnutrition problem. It is a partnership program of DA and the Department of Education (DepEd).

The program also aims to encourage school children to engage in simple food production activities as well as to promote vegetable consumption.

DA Caraga regional technical director Nicandro Navia said that the GPP should be sustained because through this program good values are instilled to the students.

DepEd Caraga assistant regional director Ramir Uytico expressed gratitude to the Department of Agriculture for partnering with DepEd in implementing this program and posed a challenge to the GPP stakeholders.

“The challenge is for us to heighten the implementation of the program so that it does not end with the awarding ceremony only, but we have to go deeper for the success and sustainability of the program,” Uytico said.

The GPP Best Schools Implementers has five categories namely the Central Schools, Non-Central, Urban, Rural, and Multi-Grade. The top three winners were chosen from among the entries of the twelve Schools Division of the region. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners each received a cash prize of P50,000, P30,000, and P10,000, respectively.

Special awards were also given to top three schools whose school gardens showcased innovations and were well established and cared for.

School Head Gideon Badic of Mt. Olive Elementary School, the three-time consecutive first-place winner for the Non-Central School category, shared that GPP has really made a huge impact in their school.

“Our school’s performance indicators increased. In 2012, we had 12 severely malnourished students, this gradually decreased until in 2015 we were down to zero. Our number of enrollees, on the other hand, increased and our National Achievement Test Rating improved from 82 in 2012 to 89 in 2015,” Badic said.

He also credits the support of the community in their successful implementation of the GPP. “The parents and local officials saw the good that the program brought especially in the health and values of not just the children but everyone in the community so they eventually gave their all-out support,” he added.

Meanwhile, DA officials also congratulated the following winners for the five categories:

Central category

1st place – Alegria Central Elementary School -  Alegria, Surigao del Norte

2nd place – Bislig Central Elementary School – Bislig City

3rd place – Mat-I Central Elementary School – Surigao City

Non-Central

1st place – Mt. Olive Elementary School – Bayugan City

2nd place – Bagnan Elementary School – Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur

3rd place – Cahayagan Elementary School – Carmen, Agusan del Norte

Urban category

1st place – Bayugan Comprehensive High School – Bayugan City

2nd place – Dapa National High School – Dapa, Surigao del Norte

3rd place – Veruela National High School – Veruela, Agusan del Sur

Rural category

1st place – RE Ecleo National High School – Cagdianao, Province of Dinagat Island

2nd place – Carpenito Integrated School – Tagbina, Surigao del Sur

3rd place – Sta. Irene National High School – Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur

Multi-Grade

1st place – Ima Elementary School – Sison, Surigao del Norte

2nd place – Puting Buhangin Elementary School – Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur

3rd place – New Demar Elementary School – Bayugan City

Special Awards

1st place -  Bayugan Comprehensive High School – Bayugan City

2nd place -  Carmen National High School – Carmen, Surigao del Sur

3rd place -  Sayak Central Elementary School – Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte. (DA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


AgNor officials, employees to get free annual check up

By Aimee B. Sienes

BUTUAN CITY, July 21 (PIA) - All officials and employees of the provincial government of Agusan del Norte will soon get a free annual medical, dental and ophthalmology check-up at the Agusan del Norte Provincial Hospital once at anytime of the year.

This was sealed through Provincial Ordinance No. 422-2016 authored by Provincial Board Member Elizabeth Marie R. Calo.

The ordinance applies to all elective officials and employees, whether regular, co-terminus, casual or job order.

The medical services include urinalysis, stool, sputum and complete blood count (CBC) while dental services include extraction and cleaning of teeth and also eye check-up.

The said check-up, however, does not extend to the families of the officials and employees.

Provincial governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba will ensure the appropriation of P1,000,000 for the implementation of the said ordinance effective January 1, 2017 and every year thereafter. (LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)